Lethal Legacy

Raff Rafferty Mystery Series, Book 5

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
374 Pages
Reviewed on 09/09/2015
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Lethal Legacy: Raff Rafferty Mystery Series, Book 5 is a murder mystery written by Robert Joseph. Raff is currently the hospital chaplain at Ryan Medical Center in Seattle. His daughter, Fati, had resigned her job as an LAPD detective and was travelling in Spain to become more acquainted with her Spanish roots, through her Mexican grandmother on her father’s side. Raff is perturbed when Fati calls him with the announcement that she had gotten married while on the island of Ibiza. Her husband, an American named Arch Lindor, literally swept her off her feet and insisted that the two of them get married before they set sail for the states on his yacht. Aside from his claims that he is part of the Lindor chocolate dynasty, Fati has been able to find out little about him, even with her training as a police detective. Arch is working in the pool industry and his work is based in Florida where they shared a small apartment. When Fati gets word that her great-aunt, Lupe, has died and left her entire estate to her, Fati is stunned. Arch is not enthusiastic about her plan to fly out and meet Lupe’s attorney, but Fati is determined to go nonetheless. When she gets there, her meeting with Jeremy Timmerman, Lupe’s lawyer, leaves her troubled and confused: Lupe had been murdered in her home, and a man named Richard Ross was claiming to be the rightful heir to the estate.

Robert Joseph’s murder mystery, Lethal Legacy, is a suspenseful and classy homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller movies. Fati’s new role as a wife and the heir to a fortune leaves her at the mercy of her aunt’s friend, Walter, who seems to be determined to play a major role in her life, and her new husband’s behavior and attitudes are beginning to trouble the love struck young woman. The reader can’t help but get involved and want to warn her somehow of the dangers she faces. Joseph weaves a compelling and exciting story filled with undercurrents of violence and mystery, as Fati’s aunt’s Mayan antiquities collection is permeated with grim and horrific reminders of human sacrifice and harsh gods, and the death toll continues to mount. I enjoyed seeing Fati begin to remember her police training and take on a more assertive and self-reliant role in dealing with the estate and its management. Lethal Legacy is well-written and superbly plotted, and it’s a joy to read. It’s highly recommended.

Melinda Hills

After spending some time in Spain to regain perspective in her life, Fati Rafferty returns to the United States, only to learn that she has inherited the vast estate, Florestal, from her great aunt Lupe in Lethal Legacy, Book 5 of the Raff Rafferty Mystery Series by Robert Joseph. Recently and hastily married to a handsome, enigmatic man, Fati leaves him at work in Florida to travel to San Marino, California, to settle the estate.

Discovering that Lupe was murdered is only the beginning of a horrific chain of events including the theft of Mayan works of art, strange appearances by a man in a Mayan high priest’s robe and headdress, and more murders. Glad that Arch finally joins her, Fati is quickly disheartened as the problems only grow more complicated. What hold does her aunt’s old friend Walter Mulday have over the estate and the other people in the social circle that is quickly diminishing? Could he be behind the mystery or just another potential victim of the ‘Lethal Legacy’? With virtually no leads to follow, can the police make an arrest before Fati is lost to the phantom?

Lethal Legacy by Robert Joseph draws you in with vivid descriptions of places, people and the psychology driving the characters, as well as a plot with plenty of possible suspects and surprising twists. The story stands alone, but as Book 5 in the Raff Rafferty Mystery Series, there are many facts about Fati that are hinted at but knowledge of which would help make some sense of her unusual choices. Even without that full understanding, this is an excellent mystery story that leaves you wondering about the lengths some people go to in order to get what they want.

Patricia Day

Lethal Legacy by Robert Joseph could be described as a melting pot of intriguing characters. The story opens at the magnificent mansion home Florestal, a home owned and cherished by Guadalupe ‘Lupe’ Arrostegin.
Lupe lives a privileged life in Florestal. Taken care of by husband and wife Nestor and Remedios, she spends her time indulging her every whim, as well as supporting the community efforts of friend Helen Onderthorp at her fundraising functions. The goal ultimately was to donate a new transplant unit to a local hospital. At these social gatherings, Lupe and Helen both rely on the chaperone support of younger men. They excel in their social climates and feel it is necessary to be seen on the arms of male partners.

Fatima enters the tale while vacationing in Spain. She is the young and much-loved niece of Lupe. Their lives have taken different paths yet they are bound by invisible ties that will be tested by many unseen obstacles about to explode into their lives. The murder of a young girl many years ago is the common denominator that connects them all. To reveal anymore would spoil the story for others.

Robert Joseph skilfully weaves the effects of the murder into the lives of many characters in the story. Who murdered her and why? How the murderer managed to remain free of the authorities? What connects Fate and Lupe? The roles Helen and Father Gabriel Rafferty play in the overall scheme of things; it all makes very good reading. I found the story compelling. Altogether an enjoyable read with very plausible characters. A pleasure to read a book that holds your interest and does not insult your intelligence with bad language or smutty content.